Have you ever asked yourself:
- Why does anime have ordinary people with super powers, but not superheroes?
- How can cartoons aimed at children be so casual about nudity?
- If the rest of the animation is high quality, why are the mouths
- Why does that character who looks like a girl sound like a man?
And why is he kissing another man?
Published in October 2002 to considerable praise, Anime Explosion!
looks at the ways in which animation in Japan draws on the history, culture,
religions, legends, and social codes of Japan to create, shape and re-shape
this unique medium. In its nearly 400 pages you'll see how the ancient
legend of the monkey who travelled to India inspired one of the first anime
(shown in America as Alakazam the Great! in 1959) as well as one of
the most popular (Dragonball Z); how the Buddhist attitude toward
suicide affects anime plots; and how a very real battleship became a spaceship
in Star Blazers. You'll learn how legendary figure Momotaro
the Peach Boy appears as a magical girl(!), trace the evolution of the samurai
hero from World War II to the present, and find out why hitch-hiking in Japan
isn't as taboo as we make it in America. This is a breakdown of Japanese
cartoons that--like its subject--is both serious and fun.
A guide to why anime is the
way it is:
Heck, I think I know more about
Japanese culture than most anime fans and I learned a lot from this book.
I strongly recommend it to fans who wish to deepen their knowledge of Japanese
culture in anime
--Gilles Poitras, author of The Anime Companion
a nice chunky book on anime
tropes and traits, written by someone who knows something about Japan. I
can certainly see unscrupulous students lifting large parts of this to impress
their teachers in years to come
--Jonathan Clements, co-author of The Anime Encyclopedia
Anime Explosion: The What? Why? and Wow! of Japanese Animation
by PATRICK DRAZEN (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Available in bookstores online and in the real world
Published by specialists in fine books on all aspects of Japan:
STONE BRIDGE PRESS (www.stonebridge.com)